Water Management
Sustainable Growing

World Water Day 2023

March 22, 2023

Why growing more with less is crucial

70% of fresh water is consumed for agricultural purposes, including food production. As more people put ever increasing demands on limited resources, the cost and effort to build or even maintain access to water will increase.

How do “Be the change” from United Nations and “Grow more with less” from Grodan connect

“Grow more with less” is the main principle of precision growing. In precision growing and soilless cultivation it is possible to minimise water use. Interesting fact is that about 90% (8,500 ha) of the Dutch greenhouse horticulture consists of soilless cultivation . In these greenhouses collection and re-use of drain water is obligatory (Beerling et al., 2014). Precision growing changed the conventional way of cultivation radically.

Dutch growers with hydroponics technology with recirculation reduced their water use for crops by up to 90% compared to conventional soil based system, as we assessed by Wageningen University & Research in our whitepaper “Using less water when growing hydroponically”. 

Why is it important to recycle drain water?

Careful management of water and nutrients combined with recycling the drain water in the greenhouses can strengthen growers’ business both in the short and long term because it contributes to:

  • Reduce total fertilizer input
  • Save costs
  • Optimize the growth of your crop
  • Increase the availability of sufficient and clean irrigation water
  • Protect the environment
  • Comply with legislation

Closed hydroponic systems help protect the environment by minimizing fertilizer emission and conserving surface water quality.

Can growers make informed decisions by using Grodan products and save water?

Growers can capture and recycle the drain water from the beginning of the cultivation cycle. Monitoring the Water Content and Electrical Conductivity in the substrate (with the GroSens sensors)  allow growers to make informed decisions with respect to fine tuning the irrigation strategy. Soil-based cultivation is likely to use 50–100% more water as a result of water losses from overwatering the soil and evaporation from the soil surface compared to a substrate. Building an irrigation strategy growers can improve the water use efficiency as well.

At Grodan we are proud to serve the agricultural sector and contribute with our solutions to help  manage water better and to help growers grow sustainably.

With a sustainable food production system we can contribute to providing healthy food and water to the increasing world population